Branch Mum

How long are you actually pregnant?

Happy Nurses week!! How are you celebrating or thanking your nurses this week? A simple “thank you for your service” goes a long way! We nurses appreciate the little things. Also how did you celebrate the awesome midwifes on International Day of the Midwife? Midwives and nurses do some amazing things and will forever be needed. Now, let’s do some more pregnancy talk. Do you really think you’re pregnant for nine months? If you said, No, you are absolutely correct. Calm down my friend, let me explain. A pregnancy last for a total of 10 lunar months or 40 weeks. Here’s how and a break down of what’s going on with you and your baby during each one.

Trimesters of Pregnancy

As I stated before. A full-term, normal pregnancy is around 40 weeks – generally between 37-42 weeks – which is divided into three trimesters. What does trimester mean? “A period/time of three months. So, your 40 weeks gets broken down into a group of 3 months or 12-14 weeks. Yes. I know 3×3 is 9, which is why one would say they are pregnant for 9 months. Count the weeks, not the months. I’ll explain some other time. For now, let’s dig into these trimesters and the certain physiological and hormonal changes.

First Trimester

The first trimester starts from the first week of pregnancy and lasts through to the twelfth week. Apparently, you may not appear to be pregnant during these first 12 weeks, but your body is undergoing enormous changes throughout this time for accommodating the growing baby. 

During the first trimester, your body experiences a significant change in hormone levels. Your uterus starts supporting the growing fetus and the placenta, the blood supply is increased so that nutrients and oxygen are carried to the growing baby, and you also experience increased heart rate. 

Second Trimester

The second trimester starts from week 13 and lasts until week 27. This is generally the most comfortable time during pregnancy for most women. This is when most of the symptoms from early pregnancy disappear gradually. You start feeling increased energy levels in the day and get a more relaxing sleep at night. 

As the uterus continues to grow in size, your abdomen starts expanding too and anyone can tell that you’re pregnant. You should wear proper maternity wear during this time and avoid wearing restrictive clothing. 

Generally, by week 20, most women start feeling the movement of their baby in this trimester. In fact, your baby can also start hearing and recognize your voice when you’re going through the second trimester. 

In this trimester, you may also have to undergo some screening tests. So, make sure that you discuss your and your family’s medical history and any genetic issues with your healthcare provider at this time. 

Third Trimester

The last trimester of pregnancy starts from week 28 and lasts until the baby’s birth. This is the time when your visits to your healthcare provider become more frequent and you need to take extra care. Your doctor will keep a check on:

  • Your blood pressure
  • Heart rate of the fetus
  • Protein leaking into your urine
  • Your fundal height 
  • Any swelling on your legs and hands
  • Baby’s position

This is the time when travel restrictions are imposed by the doctor and you’re advised to stay close to your midwife or doctor to avoid problems should you go into labor earlier than expected.

Ok! Boom! Now that I’ve broken down the trimesters to you. Tell me how you feel? Did you or are you going through any of these changes? Do you want to know more? Let me know down in the comments.

**The information in this blog is helpful but it is not a substitute for your obstetric care provider. He or she will have specific information about you and will be able to help tailor your prenatal care for your personal circumstances. These are guidelines and the best care will sometimes mean doing things different than or in addition to what is outlined in this blog. Information is not being endorsed by any government or public entity. The views expressed in this blog are only those of the author**

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